Oceanside developer facing fines for stormwater permit violations

Oceanside developer facing fines for stormwater permit violations

Quality Investors LLC and David G. Epstein, the owners of a three-acre residential construction project in Oceanside, face a $411,475 penalty from the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board for allegedly violating multiple provisions of their stormwater discharge permit in December 2021.

Most notably, the owners’ apparent failure to install critical storm drain infrastructure before the rainy season allowed runoff from elevated areas to commingle with disturbed soil at the site, resulting in sediment-laden stormwater discharges to Buena Vista Creek and Buena Vista Lagoon that threatened harm to marine and wildlife habitat.

“The dischargers should never have broken ground without adequate planning to control runoff from above the site,” said Chiara Clemente, the San Diego Water Board’s enforcement coordinator. “Additionally, they disregarded their own stormwater pollution prevention plan. We believe these egregious violations warrant a substantial penalty, and we hope this serves as a reminder to other builders that we will take aggressive action against permit non-compliance to help protect our precious waterbodies.”

The waterboard alleges the developer failed to install infrastructure or use other control strategies they had outlined in their pollution prevention plan. A dirt pit onsite failed during an intense storm and released approximately 425,670 gallons of sediment-laden stormwater into the creek.

A hearing is tentatively scheduled for Feb. 8, 2023.

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